Nanobody Immune Therapy From Llamas Shows Anti-Covid Promise
Nanobodies are similar to antibodies, but are smaller, simpler and produced naturally in llamas and camels when they suffer infections. A llama called Fifi is the source of a promising new covid therapy. Meanwhile, a drug already approved to treat gout may also be useful against covid.
Covid: Immune Therapy From Llamas Shows Promise
A Covid therapy derived from a llama named Fifi has shown "significant potential" in early trials. It is a treatment made of "nanobodies", small, simpler versions of antibodies, which llamas and camels produce naturally in response to infection. Once the therapy has been tested in humans, scientists say, it could be given as a simple nasal spray - to treat and even prevent early infection. Prof James Naismith described nanobodies as "fantastically exciting". (Gill, 9/22)
FDA-Approved Gout Drug Could Show Promise In Fighting COVID-19
A gout drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could reportedly show promise in fighting the coronavirus. According to a recent study from the University of Georgia (UGA) published in Nature's Scientific Reports, probenecid has potent antiviral properties that make the oral medication a prime candidate to combat not only SARS-CoV-2 infection but other common and deadly respiratory viruses. The school noted that probenecid is primarily used to treat gout and has been on the market for more than 40 years, with minimal side effects to patients. (Musto, 9/21)
A Look At COVID-19 Treatments: Which Ones Work Best?
Hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies are some of the most-talked about drugs when it comes to COVID-19. CBS Dallas spoke with Dr. Robert Gottlieb, of the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, to learn more about each. "There are many therapies that work on paper, or even in the laboratory, that don't work when you bring them to a human" Dr. Gottlieb told us. "We have to remember that we're not trying to treat a virus in a test tube, we're trying to treat a virus in a human being." (Katz, 9/21)
In news from California and Hawaii —
Los Angeles Times:
Monoclonal Antibody COVID Treatment Hard To Get In California
Health officials in California are warning of shortages and distribution problems for a medical treatment that can keep COVID-19 patients from falling critically ill. Monoclonal antibodies have been developed as a treatment for COVID-19. They are thought to be a way to counteract the coronavirus before it can begin destroying the body’s organs, said Dr. Rais Vohra, the interim Fresno County health officer. The antibodies can be used to treat mild or moderate COVID-19 in patients who are not hospitalized. (Lin II and Money, 9/21)
Hawaii COVID-19 Antibody Treatments Capped Amid Shortage
Hawaii health care providers are receiving only half the number of monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 that they requested amid a shortage of the drugs. The federal government has capped Hawaii’s weekly allocation at 680 treatments, Brooks Baehr, a spokesperson for the state Department of Health, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “There is no question that we would have loved to get more,” Baehr said. (9/21)
Experts Eye More Travel Testing To Contain COVID In Hawaii
Hawaii officials are facing pressure to increase COVID-19 testing for travelers as the islands deal with a record surge of new infections, hospitalization and deaths. The calls come as federal guidelines change to require negative virus tests from both vaccinated and unvaccinated people coming to the U.S. Despite evidence that more COVID-19 testing would help reduce the spread of disease, especially in an isolated destination like Hawaii, state leaders have resisted the implementation of a two-test policy for arriving travelers. (Jones, 9/21)